West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday pitched for Opposition unity ahead of the 2024 General Elections to halt the BJP juggernaut, saying she was keen to meet the parties when she visits Delhi next week.
Addressing a virtual gathering to mark Martyrs’ Day, Banerjee said there was no time to waste to plan for the general elections. “I will be in Delhi next week and I want to meet the opposition leaders during the ongoing Parliament session. I propose you call a meeting of opposition leaders between 26-28 of this month, we
Giving a twist to her victory slogan in the state ‘Khela Hobe’, Banerjee said one game has happened in Bengal and “another game’s afoot”. “We will declare August 16 Khel Divas in Bengal,” she added.
Taking a dig at the Centre over the Pegasus snooping row, Banerjee said she could not talk to opposition leaders as she knew her phone was being tapped. “In the name of Pegasus, they are intruding into our lives. I have covered my phone in plastic, the government should also be plastered.”
She also appealed to Supreme Court judges to take suo motu cognizance of the fact that all phones were being tapped, adding that the need of the hour “is to save this democracy”.
Invoking Tagore, the chief minister said the people of Bengal had demolished money and muscle power of the BJP.
Banerjee was speaking at an event to commemorate Martyrs’ Day, a crucial date for the TMC as it was on this day in 1993 that 13 people were shot by the Bengal Police in Kolkata during a rally by West Bengal Youth Congress under Banerjee while demanding that voters’ ID card be made the sole document for voting. The movement had helped establish a young Banerjee as a leader with no family links in politics but a grassroots-level connect.
In 1998, when Banerjee broke out of the Congress to form the TMC, she continued to mark July 21 every year.